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Lockpicking  

155 members have voted

  1. 1. What form of lock-picking do you prefer?

    • Mandatory Mini-game
      18
    • Optional Mini-game
      20
    • No Mini-game
      102
    • I don't care
      15
  2. 2. Should Lockpicking be "Skill" Based or "Experience" Based?

    • Skill Based, Need to invest into a "Skill"
      118
    • Experience Based, the more my character succeeds, the better they become.
      28
    • I don't care
      9


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The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

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It seems up to this point, it's been impossible for game developers to make mini-games that are enjoyable and don't over stay their welcome that are involved in the core gameplay. Very rarely have they been enjoyable, the Deux Ex: Human Revolution hacking was, but there was way too much of it. In my view 10 second engaging minigames don't exist, because they're impossible, just like being invisible and pink at the same time. I don't get engaged by 10 seconds snippets of gameplay, they are worthless to me.

 

In most cases the minigames aren't enjoyable, and that's always a risk when you introduce gameplay that's very different to the core gameplay. I was actually playing Cogs before I played Bioshock, a game that has the same pipe gameplay minus the time limit, and that was only added in to balance other gameplay systems, which is also something that tends to happen, making gameplay suck for balance reasons in minigames.

 

Picking up loot, skill-based lockpicking, and combat aren't minigames, they're part of the core gameplay, and if you find them repetitive and tedious then these games aren't for you. I find the core gameplay of some genres tedious, I don't play them. I don't think, if only they had isolated segments of gameplay I like in them. You also said that adding a lock picking minigame was adding depth to the system, which is absurd, it's one of the most shallow things you can do to a game.

 

Okay, first of all, I've pretty much put quotes around every usage of the word "minigame" in all my posts in this thread. What makes dialogue not a minigame? You'd probably call it a mechanic or system. But, when you initiate a conversation with someone in an RPG, moving around and casting spells and interacting with objects is irrelevant. The only thing that is relevant is dialogue. Therefore, some form of module must now run that differs from the stuff you're doing when you AREN'T in dialogue. Is this a minigame? I don't know. Call it what you will. I don't care what it's called. So, the fact that I'm referencing it with "minigame" does not mean that you get to bestow upon my words a ludicrously specific meaning. I never said "It should be like Bioshock's hacking," or "It should be like Mario Party." So, rather than telling me I'm wrong because super-specific examples of minigames you can list sucked, it might be more constructive to explore the actual possibilities within the broader realm to which I'm actually referring.

 

Secondly, "10 seconds" was an example of how long it might take to pick a simple lock in an unspecified lockpick mechanic as compared directly to simply opening locks with the standard approach as suggested by the thread's anti-minigame crowd. If your Thief is a master lockpicker, and the lock is a simple house lock, then the ideal "minigame" would appropriately be far easier. Of course, some would say "well, if it's only going to take 10 seconds, then why not just get rid of that whole bit and let me click 'lockpick' on the door and instantly unlock it?". Well, again I turn to the combat system as an example. There are going to be some enemies that are stupidly easy to dispatch. Does logic dictate that, since SOMEtimes enemies will be super easy, why not just not have a combat system? Should we simply be allow the player to click "kill" on the enemy, and it dies? Save all those skill selections and combat animations? No. The same system is still in place... there are just things called factors that alter the duration of combat. So, if that's not a good reason to do it for combat, why would it be a good reason for lockpicking?

 

Lastly, IF I find the alternative repetitive? By definition, it IS repetitive. You literally repeat the same thing over and over again. It's binary. You're either attempting a lockpick and some math runs, or you're not and it doesn't. A 0 or a 1. Even if you put in a lockpicking system involving an old NES controller interface, with only the 4 cardinal directions as choices to turn the lockpick, and one of them was randomly the correct one each time, that would be adding depth to a simple "I'm either trying or I'm not, and number A is either higher than number B or it isn't" system. That is not my opinion. That is a fact. It is quantifiable. Would that "minigame" be fun? Probably not so much. Which is why we have more advanced systems of code and graphics now, and brains, so that we CAN make it fun.

 

So, here's the question I ask, as maybe the terminology works better for you: If you want lockpicking in the game, then why shouldn't it be deeper than a simple, repetitive dice roll? If you're going to repeat it (open more than one lock, and, in the case of an RPG, most likely MANY, many locks, not to mention all the different attempts you might have to make on each one), then why shouldn't it be more engaging and dynamic than "Let's see if it works this time... let's see if it works this time... let's see if it works this time..."?

 

How is "Try or don't" not repetitive? And how is any attempt at something deeper than that automatically a bad choice?

 

Again, it might be more constructive to the discussion if you attempt to work the equation and show me evidence that it's unsolvable, rather than looking at it and saying "There's no way to solve that equation. Might as well not work it."

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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For anything you'll be doing innumerable times in a game, a mini-game is a bad idea whether it's 10 seconds long or 10 minutes long. The game will get stale after the first 3 times you play it.

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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For anything you'll be doing innumerable times in a game, a mini-game is a bad idea whether it's 10 seconds long or 10 minutes long. The game will get stale after the first 3 times you play it.

I agree, if every lock was different however...

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
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^^Then why isn't dialogue stale? It isn't instantaneous. You don't just click on people and get quests. You talk to them, and you engage in the dialogue, and choose which response to make, and what questions to ask. There are many games with dynamic dialogue in them, and it's not stale.

 

To whatever degree you do it, let's say you implement locked and unlocked things, and certain characters can unlock locked things. If they are successful every single time (there's no skill or lock difficulty range, you just either have the skill or you don't), that's about the most boring you could possibly make the lockpicking "system" at that point without it being useless. If you applaud this system, then, frankly, I don't comprehend why you even care whether or not lockpicking is in the game or not, especially in a party-based game. Everyone would just make sure they have a Rogue to not miss out on any stuff. Restriction bypassed.

 

So maybe you put in a skill range, and difficulty on the locks, and an effectiveness check (sometimes you roll a +1 to your skill base, and sometimes you add a +10, for example). Okay, now you're at the slightly-deeper-yet-ultra-repetitive point I was referring to earlier. Whatever the math, you get to a lock that CAN be picked, but your bonus has to land on the maximum number for it to happen. So, you either come back to it (which you sometimes can't do for story reasons) when you have a higher skill, or you sit there and click "pick lock" over and over and over and over and over until you finally get it opened. Annnnd that's about as exciting as that gets, as compared to the always-succeed method, or no lockpicking at all.

 

Okay, now suppose that, instead, there's some sort of mechanic that incorporates player... I won't even say "skill" here; we'll go with "competency" or "effort." Well, if done right, then the difficult lock would simply require some extra care on the player's part to open. Which might take a little bit of time, but would be directly affected by the player's effort, therefore alleviating some of the time wasted by waiting on chance to make the numbers match up.

 

Take the Skyrim lockpicking, PURELY for example on this one point. If you had an easy lock, you could pretty much rotate the pick to a few random spots and shove without really any care as to what you're doing or why, and you're statistically going to snap off no more than a handful of picks before unlocking it. Pretty much takes no more time than the "I need to roll a 3 or higher" approach taking a few clicks of "pick lock" to get the job done. But, if you run into an extremely DIFFICULT lock (i.e. there's a 5% chance I'll automatically pick this lock in a dice roll system), you're going to be either standing there for up to 5 minutes (or until you break all your lockpicks, if they're breakable) clicking and waiting... clicking and waiting. If that's not the definition of a chore in a video game, I don't know what is. Whereas, in the Skyrim system (simply the fact that it's interactive and has depth beyond a boolean dice roll), you could be more careful with a difficult lock, moving the pick little increments at a time and giving a tiny nudge instead of forcing the pick into snapping. Sure, it may take a couple of minutes still, but that isn't any different from the other system. The only difference is that you got to do something about whether or not the lock was picked, rather than simply choosing whether or not it should be ATTEMPTED to be picked.

 

Keep in mind that I have many a problem with Skyrim's system, like the fact that you could pick a master lock at 15 lockpicking skill if you were careful enough. But that doesn't mean that our options are Skyrim's exact system or none at all.

 

So, I still don't have anyone giving me a reason why a dynamic, engaging lockpicking system isn't better than a wait-for-some-math system, or how being able to affect the lockpicking process isn't deeper than rolling dice or insta-picking no matter what. If "it takes too long" is your reason, then you just want instant lockpicking no matter what, because any chance system at all is going to cause relatively difficult locks to take time to pick. So that's not exclusive to the "minigame" approach. Repetitiveness is also not exclusive to the minigame approach, as it is equally as repetitive (and technically less so, since you actually technically deal with a slightly different puzzle every time, as opposed to clicking the exact same "attempt" button over and over) than the non-minigame approach.

 

If you want to make pudding, then you want to put forth SOME amount of effort. Because making pudding inherently requires effort. If you want pudding to appear on the table, then you don't want to MAKE pudding. You just want to acquire pudding. So, if you simply wish for locks to be unlocked, then you don't really want them to be locked in the first place. If you want to unlock them, how can you want it to NOT take any effort? Again, that's VERY much like saying "I want to be able to talk to NPCs, but I don't want to have to read text or listen to words. That just gets so tedious, 'cause you're going to be talking to a lot of NPCs throughout the game." Exact same logic, yet I don't see anyone arguing that conversations should just be based on a skill check.

 

"Oh, you have 18 Charisma? Yep, you completed the quest, and the bandits let the hostages go."

"But I don't even know what the quest WAS!"

 

I know my posts keep being super long, and I apologize, but I've shown my work. If I'm wrong, I just want someone to point it out to me, so that I can understand in what way I'm wrong. Not be told "You're totally wrong" and that's it.

Edited by Lephys
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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I know my posts keep being super long, and I apologize, but I've shown my work. If I'm wrong, I just want someone to point it out to me, so that I can understand in what way I'm wrong. Not be told "You're totally wrong" and that's it.

 

I think you need to change your title to 'Lephys, Defender of the minigame'

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I think you need to change your title to 'Lephys, Defender of the minigame'

 

Hahaha. I might do that.

 

I dunno, I guess I just sort of feel like that person who got pulled over for no reason, and the cop simply won't answer me when I ask why it is he pulled me over, ya know?

 

"But, unless I'm mistaken, I was obeying all laws."

"Nope... you weren't."

"Well, which one was I breaking?"

"YOU WERE JUST BREAKING THE LAW, OKAY?! NOW PAY YOUR TICKET!"

 

Not that anyone was shouting at me in this thread. There's a pleasant lack of outright hostility here. At least that I've seen.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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^I don't know whether to answer you in this thread or the minigames one. I've decided to answer you in the minigames one instead. No point in repeating what I said.

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My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Okay, first of all, I've pretty much put quotes around every usage of the word "minigame" in all my posts in this thread. What makes dialogue not a minigame? You'd probably call it a mechanic or system. But, when you initiate a conversation with someone in an RPG, moving around and casting spells and interacting with objects is irrelevant. The only thing that is relevant is dialogue. Therefore, some form of module must now run that differs from the stuff you're doing when you AREN'T in dialogue. Is this a minigame? I don't know. Call it what you will. I don't care what it's called. So, the fact that I'm referencing it with "minigame" does not mean that you get to bestow upon my words a ludicrously specific meaning. I never said "It should be like Bioshock's hacking," or "It should be like Mario Party." So, rather than telling me I'm wrong because super-specific examples of minigames you can list sucked, it might be more constructive to explore the actual possibilities within the broader realm to which I'm actually referring.

 

You can postulate about a as of yet unknown type of minigame all you want, until you give examples then your criticism of me not exploring actual possibilities is hypcritical.

 

When you're interacting with object you're not moving around, that doesn't make it a minigame. Dialogue is applying the core gameplay rules to an activity, where as mini-games are adding self-contained, game within a game, non-core gameplay. In dialogue systems of RPGs, it's not about how you select options, it's that they're applying an RPG system like SPECIAL to dialogue. A good way to test if it's a minigame is if you take it out of the game, does it still make sense as a game by itself. That NCR quiz in New Vegas? A minigame. Dialogue can include minigames, but it's not usually a minigame.

 

 

So, here's the question I ask, as maybe the terminology works better for you: If you want lockpicking in the game, then why shouldn't it be deeper than a simple, repetitive dice roll? If you're going to repeat it (open more than one lock, and, in the case of an RPG, most likely MANY, many locks, not to mention all the different attempts you might have to make on each one), then why shouldn't it be more engaging and dynamic than "Let's see if it works this time... let's see if it works this time... let's see if it works this time..."?

 

You keep using the words like deeper, engaging, and dynamic, they certainly don't apply to the lock picking minigames I've found.

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^^Then why isn't dialogue stale? It isn't instantaneous. You don't just click on people and get quests. You talk to them, and you engage in the dialogue, and choose which response to make, and what questions to ask. There are many games with dynamic dialogue in them, and it's not stale.

 

To whatever degree you do it, let's say you implement locked and unlocked things, and certain characters can unlock locked things. If they are successful every single time (there's no skill or lock difficulty range, you just either have the skill or you don't), that's about the most boring you could possibly make the lockpicking "system" at that point without it being useless. If you applaud this system, then, frankly, I don't comprehend why you even care whether or not lockpicking is in the game or not, especially in a party-based game. Everyone would just make sure they have a Rogue to not miss out on any stuff. Restriction bypassed.

 

So maybe you put in a skill range, and difficulty on the locks, and an effectiveness check (sometimes you roll a +1 to your skill base, and sometimes you add a +10, for example). Okay, now you're at the slightly-deeper-yet-ultra-repetitive point I was referring to earlier. Whatever the math, you get to a lock that CAN be picked, but your bonus has to land on the maximum number for it to happen. So, you either come back to it (which you sometimes can't do for story reasons) when you have a higher skill, or you sit there and click "pick lock" over and over and over and over and over until you finally get it opened. Annnnd that's about as exciting as that gets, as compared to the always-succeed method, or no lockpicking at all.

 

Okay, now suppose that, instead, there's some sort of mechanic that incorporates player... I won't even say "skill" here; we'll go with "competency" or "effort." Well, if done right, then the difficult lock would simply require some extra care on the player's part to open. Which might take a little bit of time, but would be directly affected by the player's effort, therefore alleviating some of the time wasted by waiting on chance to make the numbers match up.

 

Take the Skyrim lockpicking, PURELY for example on this one point. If you had an easy lock, you could pretty much rotate the pick to a few random spots and shove without really any care as to what you're doing or why, and you're statistically going to snap off no more than a handful of picks before unlocking it. Pretty much takes no more time than the "I need to roll a 3 or higher" approach taking a few clicks of "pick lock" to get the job done. But, if you run into an extremely DIFFICULT lock (i.e. there's a 5% chance I'll automatically pick this lock in a dice roll system), you're going to be either standing there for up to 5 minutes (or until you break all your lockpicks, if they're breakable) clicking and waiting... clicking and waiting. If that's not the definition of a chore in a video game, I don't know what is. Whereas, in the Skyrim system (simply the fact that it's interactive and has depth beyond a boolean dice roll), you could be more careful with a difficult lock, moving the pick little increments at a time and giving a tiny nudge instead of forcing the pick into snapping. Sure, it may take a couple of minutes still, but that isn't any different from the other system. The only difference is that you got to do something about whether or not the lock was picked, rather than simply choosing whether or not it should be ATTEMPTED to be picked.

 

Keep in mind that I have many a problem with Skyrim's system, like the fact that you could pick a master lock at 15 lockpicking skill if you were careful enough. But that doesn't mean that our options are Skyrim's exact system or none at all.

 

So, I still don't have anyone giving me a reason why a dynamic, engaging lockpicking system isn't better than a wait-for-some-math system, or how being able to affect the lockpicking process isn't deeper than rolling dice or insta-picking no matter what. If "it takes too long" is your reason, then you just want instant lockpicking no matter what, because any chance system at all is going to cause relatively difficult locks to take time to pick. So that's not exclusive to the "minigame" approach. Repetitiveness is also not exclusive to the minigame approach, as it is equally as repetitive (and technically less so, since you actually technically deal with a slightly different puzzle every time, as opposed to clicking the exact same "attempt" button over and over) than the non-minigame approach.

 

If you want to make pudding, then you want to put forth SOME amount of effort. Because making pudding inherently requires effort. If you want pudding to appear on the table, then you don't want to MAKE pudding. You just want to acquire pudding. So, if you simply wish for locks to be unlocked, then you don't really want them to be locked in the first place. If you want to unlock them, how can you want it to NOT take any effort? Again, that's VERY much like saying "I want to be able to talk to NPCs, but I don't want to have to read text or listen to words. That just gets so tedious, 'cause you're going to be talking to a lot of NPCs throughout the game." Exact same logic, yet I don't see anyone arguing that conversations should just be based on a skill check.

 

"Oh, you have 18 Charisma? Yep, you completed the quest, and the bandits let the hostages go."

"But I don't even know what the quest WAS!"

 

I know my posts keep being super long, and I apologize, but I've shown my work. If I'm wrong, I just want someone to point it out to me, so that I can understand in what way I'm wrong. Not be told "You're totally wrong" and that's it.

are you really trying to compare staring at a clock to observing the stars? having a minigame for an action you will perform hundreds of times, is a waste of time, and you cant just compare it with one of the most important mechanics that make an rpg what it is.

its like saying that skyrim was better than new vegas, because in skyrim you did not have to have a certain skill with lockpicking to perform the minigame in the hardest of locks, and you could open it with a skill of 1

The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

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Are minigames or player skill-based checks even an option for this game, being top-down and party-based? The only thing I want them to improve on earlier Black Isle games in that regard is to not have the lockpicking be a random roll that you can just repeat until success or the lock is jammed.

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I know my posts keep being super long, and I apologize, but I've shown my work. If I'm wrong, I just want someone to point it out to me, so that I can understand in what way I'm wrong. Not be told "You're totally wrong" and that's it.

The Length of your posts make them daunting to read, but it does demonstrate that you are passionate and argue well. However, good communicating skills sometimes also mean being brief. I try not to zone out when I see a wall of text (especially because I'm often guilty of them myself) but it does happen.

brevity is the soul of wit and all.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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I have never played a game with a lockpick minigame that I enjoyed. Not one. They don't ruin the game or anything, but they add absolutely nothing but a distraction that gets incredibly stale after the 4th or 5th lock. If lockpicking gets minigames, I don't see why every skill check wouldn't get the same. Every sword swing could have a minigame. Every save attempt could get a minigame. Every dialogue check or attempt to craft. I just don't see the reason behind lockpicking getting a minigame. If they want to add minigames, add a fair or something that you can go to and play them. Add an optional card game. But don't force minigames on basic character skills.

Edited by ogrezilla
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I have never played a game with a lockpick minigame that I enjoyed. Not one. They don't ruin the game or anything, but they add absolutely nothing but a distraction that gets incredibly stale after the 4th or 5th lock. If lockpicking gets minigames, I don't see why every skill check wouldn't get the same. Every sword swing could have a minigame. Every save attempt could get a minigame. Every dialogue check or attempt to craft. I just don't see the reason behind lockpicking getting a minigame. If they want to add minigames, add a fair or something that you can go to and play them. Add an optional card game. But don't force minigames on basic character skills.

if you take it in a broader perspective, the optional or mandatory riddles you came across in BG, P:T etc, were a sort of a minigame. what they can do about minigames, would be to have a riddle based lock on a special door that you have to solve to open it, having to beat a guy in a minigame of cards for a side quest, they could even make a level of the mega dungeon like that old tv game where the players had to pass various physical or mental chalenges to get keys that would allow them to go for the big prize (the more keys the better) so that level can be a minigame in each room

this would be a way to implement interesting and non repeating minigames with some meaning, intead of "do the same thing for 9000th time" to open the door

Edited by teknoman2

The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

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You can postulate about a as of yet unknown type of minigame all you want, until you give examples then your criticism of me not exploring actual possibilities is hypcritical.

 

I've provided PLENTY of examples that have been largely ignored in lieu of simply stating that anything I've said is completely wrong. Maybe they haven't been 100%-ready-to-go-into-a-game write-ups, but why should I give you a 5-hour painting when you don't even like the idea in my sketch?

 

When you're interacting with object you're not moving around, that doesn't make it a minigame. Dialogue is applying the core gameplay rules to an activity, where as mini-games are adding self-contained, game within a game, non-core gameplay. In dialogue systems of RPGs, it's not about how you select options, it's that they're applying an RPG system like SPECIAL to dialogue. A good way to test if it's a minigame is if you take it out of the game, does it still make sense as a game by itself. That NCR quiz in New Vegas? A minigame. Dialogue can include minigames, but it's not usually a minigame.

 

I have gone out of my way in every single post to specifically explain that the term "minigame" can refer to a spectrum of various mechanics. I have also stated that I'm in no way referring to having full, standalone games, which is why I've been saying things such as "minigame mechanic" so much. Not to mention the fact that everyone keeps referring to the lockpicking mechanics in the Bethesda games as minigames, despite the fact that they aren't standalone games. If they weren't serving as the process for using a skill within an RPG, they would not function at all. So, yes, in that way, I have made many examples to illustrate how just such mechanics (the type of game mechanics to which I'm referring that everyone else is happily labeling "minigames") are not that much different from the dialogue mechanic, or the mechanics of combat. You want to control how your characters fight, and you wan to control how your characters converse with other characters. Why is it so silly to want to control how your characters use their skills?

 

Lockpicking doesn't last NEARLY as long as combat, or entire dialogue conversations, yet everyone's okay with their implementation in the game. No one's opting for a simple skill check, followed by either "The NPC told you where the thief went" or "The NPC did not tell you where the thief went" in lieu of the blatantly much-more-interactive-and-enjoyable dialogue mechanic, in which you actually get to experience the process of gathering information via conversations. If you have absolutely no interest in the same thing for lockpicking, then it's moot to have any interest in a lockpicking "skill" whatsoever. It should just be a never-unsuccessful ability. Some characters get it (most likely just Rogues), and some don't.

 

What good is the 1-100 range if there's nothing more to lockpicking than a click and a dice roll? Once you hit the right number, you can open the lock. Could you imagine having a combat skill check for determining whether or not you kill an enemy? Not even fight it... you just either kill it, or you don't even harm it at all, and it's all based on your EnemyKilling skill. You could have that enemy have some cool loot that you can only get if you kill it. There, now you have the same exact game mechanic with a different face.

 

You just want a loot barrier? How about a solid metal door that won't open until you find the switch? Now actively searching for that switch as you make your way through content you're already making your way through equals reward, rather than grinding skill points equaling a reward.

 

You keep using the words like deeper, engaging, and dynamic, they certainly don't apply to the lock picking minigames I've found.

I actually find this hard to believe. I have to specify here that I'm not suggesting that some lockpicking mechanic from a previous game is THE solution to the problem. However, you seem to be aware of the recent Elder Scrolls/Fallout lockpicking system, and you can HONESTLY tell me that, side-by-side, interacting with a lock via a lockpick and actively picking the lock (regardless of how lacking you feel it was in any respect) is not, by definition, more engaging than pressing an "Unlock because my character's skill is high enough" button?

 

"Engaging: to occupy the attention or efforts of (a person or persons)." Feeling that it got boring too quickly or that it wasn't complex enough in the long run doesn't change the definition of words.

 

The Length of your posts make them daunting to read, but it does demonstrate that you are passionate and argue well. However, good communicating skills sometimes also mean being brief. I try not to zone out when I see a wall of text (especially because I'm often guilty of them myself) but it does happen.

brevity is the soul of wit and all.

 

I realize this, and I'm not even claiming to have good communication skills. However, it's difficult to cut all the explanation out of my responses when people are telling me that, even with the plethora of it I've got in there right now, I'm not being specific enough or that I need to provide examples.

 

If I state something that I know makes some amount of sense, and someone acts as though it did not make any sense, then I must either assume I did not communicate well enough and attempt to explain further, or forfeit any attempt at being understood and saying anything further on the matter. The latter doesn't really accomplish much in a discussion.

 

Plus, I feel like it's a bit rude to simply ignore people's replies for the sake of brevity. Thus, here I am. *sigh*

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I've provided PLENTY of examples that have been largely ignored in lieu of simply stating that anything I've said is completely wrong. Maybe they haven't been 100%-ready-to-go-into-a-game write-ups, but why should I give you a 5-hour painting when you don't even like the idea in my sketch?

 

No.

 

Not to mention the fact that everyone keeps referring to the lockpicking mechanics in the Bethesda games as minigames, despite the fact that they aren't standalone games. If they weren't serving as the process for using a skill within an RPG, they would not function at all.

 

Yes they are, and they would would function on their own, that's why they're minigames.

 

I actually find this hard to believe. I have to specify here that I'm not suggesting that some lockpicking mechanic from a previous game is THE solution to the problem. However, you seem to be aware of the recent Elder Scrolls/Fallout lockpicking system, and you can HONESTLY tell me that, side-by-side, interacting with a lock via a lockpick and actively picking the lock (regardless of how lacking you feel it was in any respect) is not, by definition, more engaging than pressing an "Unlock because my character's skill is high enough" button?

 

I did not find the Fallout 3/Oblivion lock picking minigames engaging at all, just because you liked them doesn't mean everyone else must.

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Yes they are, and they would would function on their own, that's why they're minigames.

 

Really. So I take it the inventory management interface is a minigame, too, because you interact with it and things happen. You could take that out of the rest of the game and try to get items from one part of your inventory to another and have a ball all day long.

 

I did not find the Fallout 3/Oblivion lock picking minigames engaging at all, just because you liked them doesn't mean everyone else must.

You still haven't changed the definition of "engaging." You didn't find them "enjoyable." And if you can quote me stating that people must share my opinion, I'll buy you a puppy.

 

Just because you disregard facts before you reply doesn't mean everyone else must.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Yes they are, and they would would function on their own, that's why they're minigames.

 

Really. So I take it the inventory management interface is a minigame, too, because you interact with it and things happen. You could take that out of the rest of the game and try to get items from one part of your inventory to another and have a ball all day long.

 

The inventory tetras in Deus Ex is similar to some puzzle games, but most inventory management systems, no. For a start, there's no "try" in getting items from one part of your inventory to another. If there wasn't enough in this thread showing you have no clue.

 

I did not find the Fallout 3/Oblivion lock picking minigames engaging at all, just because you liked them doesn't mean everyone else must.

You still haven't changed the definition of "engaging." You didn't find them "enjoyable." And if you can quote me stating that people must share my opinion, I'll buy you a puppy.

 

Just because you disregard facts before you reply doesn't mean everyone else must.

 

No, I didn't find them engaging, just because you can't accept that doesn't change reality.

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Minigames should go die in a fire imho, the lockpicking in TES/F3 is probably one of the least bad examples (which might be why it's brought up constantly?) and I can actually live with it most of the time (there's areas where locks are so many it really gets annoying though, picking 4 master locks and a few others in a row isn't my idea of "fun").

 

But that's the exception, many minigames are just annoying for multiple reasons, the infamous hacking minigame in AP comes to mind. But worse are the kind of minigames like they're found in the second Witcher game, obviously designed for controllers and just horribly annoying for kb/mouse players (though everything in that game was clunky for kb/mouse players, but I digress). And even worse are ones like the ME2 hacking minigame, which heavily depended on matching coloured blocks, pure awesomeness for the ~8% of the male population that suffers form some form of colourblindness (good thing it's actually source code, so one can match on structure, but that requires some coding experience). Or the bomb arming/disarming I saw in some other game (red and green wires...awesome...trial and error here I come...).

 

Honestly I feel most minigames add nothing to the experience as the majority isn't even anywhere close to being realistic, usually they just detract and annoy especially if they can't be bypassed. I mean come on, raise hands, how many of you "cheated" on the Fallout 3 hacking minigame by just starting over instead of actually solving the puzzle the proper way every time? And how many just reloaded in NV for the very same reason? (though hacking was, thankfully less omnipresent in NV)

 

That said I'm all for adding puzzles and riddles but those have the nice property of actually adding variety and not usually being all over the place unlike "regular" minigames.

Edited by marelooke
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Is there a good reason why lockpicking should be handled differently than any other skill check by having an interactive "minigame" attached to it while none of the other skills have something similar?

 

I do personally like unique puzzles to unlock certain things; just not the repeated minipuzzles that come with every single lock in some games.

Edited by ogrezilla
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When I think minigame i think Fallout 3/Vegas it's realustic that way I don't mind that kind of mini game. The mini game I'm not thnking of is Oblivions crappy lock pick system.

 

I wouldn't mind it being skill based depending on the system.

 

But it's not realistic, because A. shoving a hairpin into a keyhole will never open a lock, you need a specialized set of tools because the tumblers vary in length and B. the game mechanically restricts access to high level locks as though the player character has a deep moral objection to attempting to open locks of a certain difficulty level (without actually knowing what that level is, because the player character has no UI to reference.) There's no outward way of telling how "difficult" a lock is to pick.

 

The fundamental issue here is player skill versus character skill. If the player has the skill to succeed at a lockpicking minigame all the time, why should the player character have a lockpicking skill at all?

 

There shouldn't be a lockpicking minigame unless there's a trait that gives the player character the ability to pick any lock as an inherent instinct. With some kind of severe downside.

Edited by AGX-17
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The inventory tetras in Deus Ex is similar to some puzzle games, but most inventory management systems, no. For a start, there's no "try" in getting items from one part of your inventory to another. If there wasn't enough in this thread showing you have no clue.

Well, to satiate your apparent fondness for technicalities, in almost any RPG's inventory system, your goal is to fit as much item value as possible (be it monetary or utility value) into the allotted space and/or allotted weight limit as possible. Therefore, it requires effort on the player's part to determine the relative values of all the items happened upon and to decide what to pass on whenever the space becomes filled in between opportunities to sell or make use of said items. In Tetris, blocks are cleared and you get a score as a reward for your object-positioning efforts. In an RPG inventory, you get money and/or item use as a reward.

 

Throwing trash away isn't inherently a game, but if you suddenly "see if you can throw the trash away," it suddenly becomes one. If you happen to be standing right next to the trash can, then it's simply not much of a challenge.

 

So, when you don't take technicality to the extreme in the name of ignoring someone else's reasoning in an attempt to make them seem like an idiot and make yourself feel better, the lockpicking in Fallout and Skyrim are not standalone games any more than an inventory interface. Without the existence of the rest of the game world, and the lock, and the content that's behind the lock's barrier, you aren't "winning" anything by simply moving the lockpick around and pushing a button until the interface goes away. Just like clicking to swing your sword and try to hit an enemy in Skyrim isn't a standalone game. It's a specific mechanic within the game, and the first-person view, along with the view of both of your hands and their accompanying animations are its interface. The lockpicking mechanic just happens to have a different interface.

 

No, I didn't find them engaging, just because you can't accept that doesn't change reality.

 

 

I can easily accept that you have arbitrarily decided to ignore the very definition of "engaging." However, I decided, instead, to attempt to point out your potentially unintended choice of words in lieu of deciding to assume that you voluntarily embrace irrationality. But, again, you're so busy trying to win your one-man "Who's the rightest?" competition that you've rendered my actions moot.

 

 

Is there a good reason why lockpicking should be handled differently than any other skill check by having an interactive "minigame" attached to it while none of the other skills have something similar?

 

Because, unlike being strong enough to lift an object, or possessing enough willpower to not run in terror, picking a lock is an actual process. Meeting a skill requirement doesn't change the fact that picking a lock actually requires your character to perform that process. Is it necessary to have a minigame represent that process? No. But it's equally as unnecessary to automatically assume that process shouldn't be represented at all. Which is exactly why there's generally some silly little 5-second animation associated with a lockpicking attempt, as well as the risk to fail, in a lot of RPGs that don't use any sort of "minigame" mechanic.

 

Should PE use a separate mechanic interface for lockpicking? Maybe, maybe not. But, whether or not it should or shouldn't, or even ends up using one or doesn't, it is absolutely pointless to argue that a minigame mechanic offers only cons and no pros.

 

If you eat a banana, and you decide you don't like bananas, that doesn't make all the nutrients you just got from that banana cease to exist. Maybe at that point you should ask "Hmm, how might I go about finding something that provides the nutrients the banana provided while also tasting good?" rather than coming to the conclusion that food is useless because it has the potential to taste bad.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Is there a good reason why lockpicking should be handled differently than any other skill check by having an interactive "minigame" attached to it while none of the other skills have something similar?

 

Because, unlike being strong enough to lift an object, or possessing enough willpower to not run in terror, picking a lock is an actual process. Meeting a skill requirement doesn't change the fact that picking a lock actually requires your character to perform that process. Is it necessary to have a minigame represent that process? No. But it's equally as unnecessary to automatically assume that process shouldn't be represented at all. Which is exactly why there's generally some silly little 5-second animation associated with a lockpicking attempt, as well as the risk to fail, in a lot of RPGs that don't use any sort of "minigame" mechanic.

 

Should PE use a separate mechanic interface for lockpicking? Maybe, maybe not. But, whether or not it should or shouldn't, or even ends up using one or doesn't, it is absolutely pointless to argue that a minigame mechanic offers only cons and no pros.

 

If you eat a banana, and you decide you don't like bananas, that doesn't make all the nutrients you just got from that banana cease to exist. Maybe at that point you should ask "Hmm, how might I go about finding something that provides the nutrients the banana provided while also tasting good?" rather than coming to the conclusion that food is useless because it has the potential to taste bad.

so what about swinging a sword or casting a spell? Or picking pockets? Crafting? Should we have to control the facial expression of our character when he bluffs to be sure he doesn't give himself away? It just doesn't make sense to me that every other character skill is decided by the stats of the character, but player skill comes in to play for lockpicking. Player decision making trumps skill in almost every other scenario in this type of game -- what makes lockpicking so special that the process needs to include the skill of the player along with the skill of the character when no other character skill does the same? Swinging a sword is a process. Shooting a bow is a process. Dodging or blocking an attack is a process. But this isn't an action game so we don't perform those processes; we make the decision for our characters to perform those processes.

 

You mentioned inventory management at some point. I don't like the tetris style inventory systems. Its just annoying. Give me a stat based weight limit and call it a day imo.

Edited by ogrezilla
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so what about swinging a sword or casting a spell? Or picking pockets? Crafting? Should we have to control the facial expression of our character when he bluffs to be sure he doesn't give himself away? It just doesn't make sense to me that every other character skill is decided by the stats of the character, but player skill comes in to play for lockpicking. Player decision making trumps skill in almost every other scenario in this type of game -- what makes lockpicking so special that the process needs to include the skill of the player along with the skill of the character when no other character skill does the same? Swinging a sword is a process. Shooting a bow is a process. Dodging or blocking an attack is a process. But this isn't an action game so we don't perform those processes; we make the decision for our characters to perform those processes.

 

"Process: a systematic series of actions directed towards some end."

 

Swinging a sword is not a process. It is an action. Just like picking up a block isn't a process. Stacking a group of blocks a certain way is, however.

 

Fighting an enemy or group of enemies is a process, though, in which you get to control your characters each step of the way until the process of fighting that enemy is complete. In the exact same way that a fight with an enemy is a process comprised of multiple actions, so, too, is lockpicking. (Crafting is also a process, which is why it is one of the other main things I have supported a minigame mechanic for.)

 

Also, I think you might be misunderstanding that incorporating player skill does not mean "player skill at a 1:1 simulation of the thing that your character is doing" (nor does it mean character skill ceases to remain a factor, as has been addressed several times before in this thread.) You decide what your character does every step of the way in combat, even though your character's skill decides whether or not he strikes his target, or how well he strikes his target, or how much damage he does. So, in a way, player skill factor's directly into combat. It's not your skill at swinging a sword or aiming a bow. It's your skill at utilizing your player's skills. He's not going to perform a strategic series of actions on his own. Just as your character has to guide his sword for it to cut effictively (his skill with a sword is not his skill at cutting... the sword does the cutting, but it's only effective when combined with his ability to properly direct it), you guide your character to perform their available actions effectively. Someone's hurling a fireball at you? You direct him to move out of the anticipated spell radius. He might dodge a melee attack in the flow of melee combat, but he's not going to relocate himself on his own. Then, you have to direct him to begin attacking his target again after he has successfully avoided that spell.

 

Regardless of how much or how little, player skill is required to complete the process of combat. So, it is not ludicrous to suggest that maybe player skill should come into play when directing a character to complete the less-extensive set of actions required to pick a lock.

 

Having said that, if you reduced the entire process of combat to a single action, the game would be quite, quite lacking. Whereas, if you reduced the process of lockpicking to a single action (which most games do), then, obviously, the entire game isn't shattered. My point is only that the decision to take the time to implement a mechanic that represents the process of lockpicking is, objectively, a more engaging and dynamic mechanic than the simple single-action approach. That is the reason that I support the lockpicking minigame mechanic, as a design template, rather than the single-action design template.

 

There are many things that aren't required for an RPG to function (such as a special lockpicking mechanic, or even lockpicking in general, for that matter). You could have only a single character the entire game, as opposed to a party. You'd still have an RPG, but, in a lot of ways, the party system is much more complex and interesting. However, it requires a lot more management and time and effort to utilize than the single-character approach.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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